Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being / Album Review

AUGUST 23RD / WOLF TONE LIMITED / LIKE IT

Sometimes we all need a tutorial in order to become a fully-fledged human being. Whether it’s “How to Not Burn Your House Down” or “How to Properly Dispose of Spiders” there’s always going to be somebody who needs to know how to fit in with the world. Glass Animals have gone all out and titled their new album How To Be A Human Being. The ambition is strong, and after some very good singles this could certainly be the guide for you.

‘Life Itself’ kicks things off by introducing listeners to the slightly tweaked sound of Glass Animals. Their debut album ZABA’ showcased a sound that excelled in silence and combined dainty synthesisers with a ton of space, creating something that was as layered as it was atmospheric. This time however it seems the band are willing to create some substance in the silence as the opening track is full of percussion, tribal drums, samples and a whole lot of energy. The vocals offer up an Alex Turner-esque sense of relatability as references to Tesco and Pepsi or thrown in alongside broad statements of looking fantastic, driving the track into one of the most glorious choruses I’ve heard all year. It’s a great tune, and the excitement soon begins to build with what’s about to unfold on How To Be A Human Being.

The band’s new desire to head into a bolder direction makes for some interesting tunes. ‘Season 2 Episode 3’ features an off-kilter beat which stutters its way to the hips and becomes a nice lead into ‘Pork Soda’ which is as groovy as it’s title sounds disgusting. ‘Mama’s Gun’ takes things up a notch with strings-driven instrumental soaring far and above everything heard so far, touching the sky with it’s anthemic sounds before things back to the dancefloor on ‘Cane Shuga’. There’s a nice amount of variation thrown in to this record, and Glass Animals do a great job at keeping it all flowing smoothly.

How To Be A Human Being showcases a new direction for Glass Animals and does so very well. A lot of the tracks featured contain a strong emphasis on percussion which is what helped the band stand out on ‘ZABA’ but for this record they return with the desire to get the hips shaking. As a result, the material is vibrant with variation and rhythm, making for a record that’s far more immediately accessible than it’s predecessor.

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